Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ketchum needs government for a new century

The signs are big, and voices are loud from the "no" group opposing the council-manager initiative. Let's review for accuracy.

- Veiled recall: Some names appearing on the petition for this initiative are the same as for a previous recall. Indeed some duplicates, but what about the new names, including mine? No, this group genuinely wants professional city management.

- Expensive: It will cost the city more because the manager will have more duties and need an assistant. Perhaps, but I suggest the new council review all personnel, duties, salaries and productivity, including council and mayor. I'm confident the manager will have fiscal recommendations based on a scale consistent with our competitive cities.

- Economic risk: Entitled hotels might not be built if the government changes? Well, if development agreements have been signed, this is illogical. Furthermore, every candidate running supports hotels and an invigorated downtown core. Even more are open to reviewing Light Industrial zoning to foster economic development.

- Loss of control: Hogwash. The council must insist on accountability and transparency. If it doesn't, change the council. If the manager runs amok, replace him or her.

A change in government ensures sound management as we navigate a new economy in a new century. The old ways were fine years ago, probably still fine in many small towns. But Ketchum is not a typical small town. It's most similar to other Rocky Mountain ski towns, the majority of which have the council-manager system. That alone is an endorsement for change.

The old way was fine until we learned there's a better way: Use a professional, transparent and efficient system. Voting for council-manager ensures competent management for the future.

Keep the current council if you want, but change the form of government so that Ketchum is positioned for a prosperous future in this new century.

Pam Colesworthy


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